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California storm full coverage: State of emergency declared as atmospheric river brings 'potentially historic' flood threat

A powerful atmospheric river storm unloaded more than 10 inches of rain across portions of Southern California Sunday and Monday, triggering flash flooding, downed trees and mudslides.

The National Weather Service said the system, the second atmospheric river to take aim at California in a single week, would dump close to half a year’s worth of rain by Tuesday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in eight counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER27 updates
  • Santa Barbara County cancels evacuation orders

    Santa Barbara County announced in a post on X that all evacuation orders within the county had been canceled as of 12 p.m. PT on Monday.

  • 'Turn around, don't drown' and other flood safety tips

    As flash flood warnings are issued for various parts of Southern California impacted by the ongoing storm, here are some flood safety tips issued by Ready.gov. One of the top safety tips is to "turn around, don't drown" when coming across a flooded road. You never know how deep the water could be.

  • Weather Channel's Jim Cantore sums up L.A. storm: 'Relentless'

    Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, who has spent his fair share of time being hammered by pounding rain, summed up his thoughts on the atmospheric river storm unloading on Los Angeles in a Monday post on X.

  • Flash flood warnings in effect for Pasadena, Glendale, Santa Clarita

    Flash flood warnings remain in effect until 6 p.m. PT Monday for much of the Los Angeles region, including Pasadena, Glendale and Santa Clarita, the National Weather Service said.

  • More than 10 inches of rain have fallen in L.A. County since Sunday

    In a single day, Los Angeles has so far received just over 10 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said in a post on X. This is nearly two-thirds of the area's annual average for precipitation.

  • Cars crushed by hefty eucalyptus trees

    Large eucalyptus trees, toppled by high winds, collapsed onto multiple cars parked in front of homes in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Sunday, a video posted by the Weather Channel shows.

    Forceful winds reached about 60 mph in Santa Cruz County on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Photos show severe mudslide damage from the storm

    Residents in areas of Southern California are left with severe damage from mudslides following the winter storm that brought a deluge of rain.

    Firefighters observe the damage caused by a large mudslide.
    Firefighters observe the damage caused by a large mudslide that occurred in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles on Monday. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
    A mudslide along Beverly Glen Drive in Los Angeles,
    A mudslide took place along Beverly Glen Drive in Los Angeles. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
    Storm damage from mud, rock and debris flows.
    Storm damage from mud, rock and debris flows along Lockridge Road in Studio City, Calif. on Monday,. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
    A person clears debris.
    Jeffrey Raines clears debris after a mudslide at his parents' home in Los Angeles. (Ethan Swope/AP)
  • As much as 2 feet of snow has fallen in the California mountains

    While Southern California saw record-breaking amounts of rain on Monday, as much as two feet of snow was observed across parts of the northern Sierra Nevada, along Nevada's border, according to the National Weather Service. More snow is expected through Tuesday.

  • A man is killed after fallen tree traps him inside his home

    According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, an unidentified man died after a tree crashed into his one-story home in Boulder Creek, Calif., on Sunday.

    Deputies arrived at the house around 3:20 p.m. local time. Two people were inside the home when the tree fell. They said one resident managed to escape, but the fallen tree trapped the man inside. He died from his injuries.

    This marks the second reported death related to the storm.

  • Storm 're-intensifying,' bringing higher risks of flash flooding to Los Angeles area

    UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, who has been briefing reporters on the possible impacts of the atmospheric river storm now drenching California, warned on Monday that the system pounding Los Angeles was "now re-intensifying," bringing heightened risk of flash flooding.

  • Debris flow from storm buries cars, damages homes

    With heavy rain still falling across Los Angeles, a debris flow in the Beverly Crest neighborhood buried cars and damaged homes Monday, according to KNX News reporter Jon Baird.

  • Hurricane-force winds clock in at over 160 mph

    Strong blasts of winds have been blowing through California's mountains. The most powerful gusts at Ward Mountain in Fresno County were reported at 162 mph.

    Wind gusts in Palisades Tahoe were around 148 mph and 125 mph around Mammoth Mountain.

  • 3 ways to find a Red Cross shelter

    For people in Southern California affected by the winter storm and in need of a shelter, the American Red Cross of Central California lists three ways to find an open shelter.

    1. Visit RedCross.org/shelter

    2. Download the Red Cross Emergency phone app

    3. Call 1-800-733-2767

  • This atmospheric river storm isn't a 1-in-1,000-year event, expert says

    An "ARkStorm" is a colloquial term for an "atmospheric river (AR) 1,000 (k) year storm." Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist in Southern California, explains that the current California atmospheric river won't last for weeks, unlike the historic ARkStorm in the winter of 1861-62.

  • Photos show mudslide, flooding and high wind damage

    Record rainfall, mudslides and downed trees were seen in Southern California as a result of the winter storm.

    Mud and debris is strewn along the side of a road as a woman walks next to it holding a red umbrella.
    Mud and debris is strewn on Fryman Road during a rain storm on Monday in Studio City Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
    A fallen tree lies atop a car.
    A fallen tree lies atop a car in Los Angeles, Monday. (David Swanson/Reuters)
    Someone in a dark blue parka and jeans stands in ankle-deep rushing water while holding a muddy object with both hands.
    Jeffrey Raines clears debris from a mudslide at his parent's home during a rainstorm, Monday, Los Angeles. (Ethan Swope/AP)
    Four search and rescue workers wearing red jackets and black helmets appear to guide two people through knee-high, muddy water at the edge of a grassy field.
    Search and rescue workers evacuate men from a homeless encampment that became surrounded by floodwater from the Guadalupe River on Sunday in San Jose, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)
  • Los Angeles Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego and other attractions closed

    Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater.
    Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater as heavy rains caused the Guadalupe River to swell, Sunday, in San Jose, Calif. (Noah Berger/AP)

    Thrill seekers and explorers will have to put their adventures on hold on Monday. Several major attractions are citing inclement weather for shuttering tourist spots like the Los Angeles Zoo and a popular stretch of the San Francisco Bay.

    Here's a list of some closed attractions throughout California:

    • Los Angeles Zoo

    • SeaWorld San Diego

    • Griffith Observatory

    • Six Flags Magic Mountain

    • California Botanic Garden

    • Point Reyes National Seashore

    • Burbank hiking trails

    For those who don't mind a wetter adventure, Disneyland remains open to visitors.

  • How much rain has fallen in Los Angeles? A lot.

    A man carrying an umbrella balances on a cylindrical metal post in the middle by a flooded street.
    A man carrying an umbrella stands perched above a flooded street in Ventura, Calif., on Sunday. (Eugene Garcia/AP)

    Downtown Los Angeles was drenched with more than a month's worth of rain on Sunday, making it the wettest day there in more than 20 years.

    Rainfall totals over the past two days in other areas of Los Angeles County skyrocketed as well. Here's a look at the National Weather Service's two-day rainfall totals as of 4 a.m. local time:

    • Bel Air: 9.25 inches

    • Downtown Los Angeles: 5.48 inches

    • Pasadena: 4.33 inches

    • Santa Monica Airport: 4.52 inches

    • Santa Barbara: 3.88 inches

    • Topanga: 9.94 inches

    • Ventura: 3.48 inches

  • A list of California school closings

    Northern California school closings:

    • Yuba College

    • Sierra College

    • Tahoe Truckee Unified School District

    • Grass Valley School District

    • Marysville Joint Unified School District

    • Saint Francis High School

    • Jesuit High School

    • Yuba City Unified School District is open with some exceptions

    • Some schools in Rocklin Unified School District

    • Some schools in Sacramento City Unified School District

    • Nearly two dozen schools in Sonoma County

    • Some schools in East Side Union High School District in the South Bay

    • Some public schools in Lake County

    Southern California school closings:

    • Santa Barbara Unified Schools

    • Cal State Los Angeles

    • Cal State Northridge

    • Cal State Long Beach

    • Cal State Fullerton

  • Climate change, El Niño to blame for extreme weather in California

    Waves crash over a breakwater in Alameda, Calif.
    Waves crash over a breakwater in Alameda, Calif., on Sunday. (Noah Berger/AP)

    Scientists are saying that climate change and El Niño, a climate pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean, are the culprits for the extreme weather that California is experiencing this winter. Here's what USA Today reported:

    Multiple weather phenomena are conspiring to make these storms particularly damaging. Warm water provides energy to storms, and record-high ocean water temperatures, likely from climate change, are being detected around the world.

    Additionally, the Pacific Ocean is also seeing the effects of a more localized El Nino, where weakening trade winds reduce the upwelling of ocean waters and allow surface waters to bake in the sun and grow warmer still. And California, coming off years of drought and wildfires, is particularly vulnerable to mudslides and flooding.

    "The atmospheric river firehose is aimed at Los Angeles," tweeted Meteorologist Ryan Maue. "The onslaught has just begun from this treacherous bomb cyclone."

  • Hollywood Hills hit by mudslides

    A garage door is damaged next to debris strewn about a house.
    A garage door is damaged by a storm on a home, Monday, in Studio City, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

    The National Weather Service warned of an “extremely dangerous situation unfolding” in the Hollywood Hills area.

    “Life-threatening landslides and additional flash flooding expected overnight tonight. Avoid travel if at all possible,” the weather service said in a post on X.

    There were reports of a mudslide that caused a gas leak, forcing residents to evacuate in the Hollywood Hills region, while another mudslide caused severe damage to multiple homes in Studio City.

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsay Horvath on Sunday evening urged residents of Topanga and Soledad canyons to evacuate ahead of possible mudslides. “If you have not already left, please gather your family, your pets, your medications and leave immediately,” Horvath said.

  • Widespread heavy rain in San Diego area

    The National Weather Service in San Diego has reported widespread moderate to heavy rain throughout Southern California. As of Monday morning, parts of the San Bernardino area has received about 8.5 inches of rainfall. A flood watch is also in effect for a portion of southwest California until Tuesday morning.

  • Man killed by falling tree, police say

    The Yuba City Police Department said that David Gomes, 82, was killed Sunday in his backyard after being struck by a falling redwood tree in Yuba City, about 40 miles north of Sacramento.

    “Through the investigation, it appeared Gomes was possibly using a ladder to try and clear the tree away from his residence when it fell on him,” police said in a statement on its Facebook page.

    Police said his neighbor reported seeing Gomes at around 3 p.m. local time and believed they heard the tree fall a couple of hours later.

    Winds were blowing at about 50 miles per hour, according to CNN.

  • What is an atmospheric river?

    The Los Angeles River carries increased stormwater flow
    The Los Angeles River carries increased stormwater flow on Sunday due to the atmospheric rivers affecting Northern California. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

    What exactly is an atmospheric river anyway? The CW affiliate KTLA breaks it down:

    An atmospheric river is basically a conveyor belt of moisture from the Pacific Ocean — and while they’re not on land like typical rivers, they do contain enough water to be classified as rivers, U.S. Geological Survey explains.

    Technically, an atmospheric river is a channel of water vapor that gets picked up near Hawaii, then transported by atmospheric wind directly into the West.

    You might’ve heard the phrase, "Pineapple Express," which is another, unscientific term.

    Read more from KTLA here.

  • No days off for L.A. public schools

    Kids who attend public schools in Los Angeles, who may be hoping for a rainy day off from school, are out of luck. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), California's largest public school system, has decided to keep schools open.

    "We will continue to closely monitor conditions at all schools, and especially at those schools which are more often impacted by the rain," LAUSD officials announced early Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    "Individual school closures, if any, will be determined based on safety and on guidance provided by City and County response teams. ... Please use your best judgment based on the conditions where you live and your ability to safely travel to your school/work location."

    Remote learning will be available for students who cannot access campuses.

  • Take a look at the flooding, damage caused by an atmospheric river

    Residents in Southern California are dealing with flooding, damage from high winds and mudslides as a result of gushing rain from the storm.

    A giant tree fell on a house on El Grande Drive in San Jose, Calif.
    A giant tree fell on a house on El Grande Drive in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    An aerial view of vehicles and farm equipment flooded at the Mickelson Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma, Calif.
    An aerial view of vehicles and farm equipment flooded at the Mickelson Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma, Calif., on Sunday. (Josh Edelson/AFP)
    A person rides a bike through floodwater in Santa Barbara, Calif.
    A person rides a bike through floodwater in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Sunday. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
    A driver is blocked by large tree branches and other debris in the road.
    Branches and other debris from a mudslide blocks the road as the second and more powerful of two atmospheric river storms arrives in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Sunday. (David McNew/AFP)
  • More than half a million customers without power

    Over 500,000 customers have reported power outages in California after heavy rain and gusty winds barreled through the state on Sunday.

    The bulk of customers with no power, over 400,000, are being reported by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    The hardest hit area is Santa Clara County, about 50 miles south of San Francisco.

  • State of emergency issued in Southern California

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency on Sunday for eight counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

    The declaration will support storm response and recovery efforts in those areas.

    Newsom also listed five things Californians can do to stay safe in the severe storm, which include:

    1. Stay connected by dialing 311 to get help or ask questions.

    2. Get your info from a trusted source, like a state, government or emergency management website.

    3. Prepare for high winds and take cover under shelter; stay away from windows; stay clear of roadways; and watch for flying debris.

    4. Travel safely. Avoid nonessential travel during the peak of the storm expected Monday. Do not walk, swim or drive through floodwaters.

    5. Be ready for power outages. Keep devices charged and flashlights available for every member of the household.

    Get more tips on how to stay safe here.